How to Optimize Content to Rank #1 on Google and Establish Brand Authority (Proof + Examples inside)

When you Google the keyword “benefits of content marketing”, close to 1.3 billion blogs are fighting for the same keyword.

Why?

Visibility, credibility, conversions, and a full sales pipeline to grow your business the easy way.

Last year, I helped an LA-based e-commerce brand rank #1 on Google within days for a high-competition keyword using the on-page SEO techniques I’m sharing now.

Guess what? One year later, it’s still taking up the top spot.

Even though the founder has stopped publishing new content.

Last month, I helped a logistics intelligence SaaS brand to rank #1 on Google within days instead of months.

For a popular keyword in the supply chain space beating billion-dollar sites like FedEx and UPS.

This happened within 5 days.

Day 1: The blog goes live

Day 3: The blog appears on the first page of Google

Day 5: The blog ranks #1 on Google

And I get a message like this from the client.

So what’s the secret behind ranking #1 on Google consistently and staying on top?

Write better headlines for better SEO and Conversions

80% of your readers don’t read your copy if you can’t get them to read your headlines – David Ogilvy

Most companies fail to grab their prospect’s attention because their headlines never offer a benefit the prospect is looking for.

  1. Are you helping your audience save time?
  2. Are you helping them bring down operational costs?
  3. Is your solution accessible from anywhere, anytime?

Then you mention that in your headline.

The benefits should go straight into your value proposition to get your prospect interested FIRST.

Then comes the solution.

Now, why is something as simple as highlighting benefits a deal-breaker?

Because the benefit IS the solution your business has been thriving on.

And what a catastrophic mistake you’ll be making if you’re not strapping the benefits to your headline, right?

Pro Tip: Ensure you optimize your title tag with the main focus keyword.

Use Quality Keywords To Boost SEO

Google Crawlers are constantly looking for relevant keywords (the keywords you want to rank for) in your content.

The keywords your prospects are searching for.

But how do you predict what they’re searching for?

Think like them.

They’re on Google because they want to do one or all of the below 4 things:

  1. Save time
  2. Save money
  3. Make more profits
  4. Bring down operational/admin costs

This applies to anyone with a browser tab open.

And when you’ve predicted those keywords in your content, there’s a pattern match and your site shows up in the SERPs.

This means that the right keywords in the headline not only help you grab your audience’s attention, they also help you rank on search engines with ease.

Upgrade Alt Text to Rank on Google Image Search

My website ranks #1 on Google Image Search for a high-competition keyword and here’s the proof.

No FB ads. No Google ads. Simple optimization techniques helped me achieve this with ease. Look at the screenshot below.

SEO techniques to rank on Google Image search for a high competition keyword like Empathetic Copywriting

If you see, the top 3 results on the search page are displaying images from my website for the keyword empathetic copywriting.

Now I won’t say that this is a product of mere updating of your alt text tag.

But for now, let’s see how updating your alt text becomes the communication channel between your website and search engine spiders that help you rank.

How descriptive alt text and captions help rank #1 on Google:

  1. It indicates the purpose of the image and the exact content of the image
  2. Increases relevance to the content and brings clarity
  3. Specific information increases the chances of matching with the search keywords and bumps your page to the top
Tip: Run an instant SEO Audit of missing alt text images on your website now for FREE.

Add social proof to bring congruence to your content

If you noticed, I added proof in the form of a screenshot about how I ranked on Google Image Search in the previous section organically. By giving your readers instant proof, you are deleting your reader’s doubts even before they appear in their minds.

Because marketing and sales is all about resonating with your audience through – relevant content, connection, and social proof.

Social proof is not just to increase conversions amongst readers, even Google understands that including proof, customer reviews in the form of testimonials is a sign of authenticity and reliability.

Understand Humans And Write For Them

Using human psychology and content marketing to improve SEO and rank on Google

Humans are wired to react to interruptions.

The reason why mobile phone notifications are so easy to give into.

So how do you make your reader stay focused?

By using Pattern Interrupt Techniques.

Pattern interrupt is a psychological approach to shifting your reader’s focus and influence their behavior.

How can you use this psychological phenomenon to keep your readers interested in your content?

Create Disruptive Content Without Switching Context

Influence your reader before a notification takes that power away from your content. Make your content MORE interesting than their distractions – By dividing and displaying content differently. This is how:

  1. Ensure the headings carry appropriate H1, H2, H3 tags
  2. Use graphs and visual charts to make information more memorable
  3. Use screenshots to offer proof and explanation then and there
  4. Use snappy gifs to make content memorable
  5. Use bullets instead of a clunky text box
  6. Highlight to bring the focus back – bold, italics, underline, color
  7. Use images to explain instead of a long boring paragraph
  8. Use content highlighters like, colored blocks
  9. Create carousel content to keep your audience hooked
  10. GIFs when used appropriately can pattern interrupt much better than stagnant, dull images

Anchor Text and User Experience

The fundamentals of creating content for your audience is to be helpful.

Anchor text is the tool that makes the web so powerful. It makes access to relevant information in just one click.

Linking to related topics in your content creates a content repository your audience comes back to for their other information needs.

To get anchor texts right, every time you create anchor text, connect back to the primary intent

  • Can this link introduce my readers to topics they need to know?
  • Can this link open up new channels and learning experiences for my readers?
  • Is this link connecting to a pre-requisite topic that’ll bring them closer to their desired outcome?

On the downside, too many external hyperlinks may take your audience away from your website. So, make sure that you’re bringing a balance. Also, make sure you don’t drive your audience to competitor’s sites either.

Quick Fact: Overdoing hyperlinks can also result in penalties by Google.

Summary: 6 easy steps to SEO Content to increase conversions

How to rank #1 on Google
How to rank #1 on Google

This is how I went on to rank on Google and generate qualified leads from the traffic. Now, try these 6 steps and let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

How to make your homepage perform like a beast and catalyze conversions

What’s the point of having a website when nobody scrolls past your hero image?

If your value proposition doesn’t catch your prospect’s attention and fails to lead them past the following copy, you’re losing business faster than a descending aircraft.

Your homepage is the most important real estate online. And a bad homepage can tarnish your reputation.

Homepage copy should highlight the benefits your reader can reap out of working with you. It should talk about how you’re capable of pulling them out of their current situation and building a bridge that enables them to move closer to their goals.

Use these simple homepage copywriting techniques to empathize with your audience:

  1. Replace “I”, “We”, “Our”, “Ours” with “You”, “Your” and “Yours” to make your copy appealing to your prospects instead of tooting your own horn. Let the message on your website invite them already. Show them you’re here..solely..to serve them. Prove it to them that they are your priority and you’re nothing short of value.
  2. Make sure you state what you do – loud and clear. You could be a startup owner, creative entrepreneur, agency owner or an angel investor – whoever you are – Say it. Declare it. Announce it. But do it in a way that highlights the one biggest benefit you offer, the one big problem you solve for your prospects.
  3. Highlight the outcome of your product or service. You are in business for a reason. You work hard for that one purpose – to help your clients. But a majority of the homepage copy found online barely scratch the surface of communicative marketing.

    Explain the outcome and let the message sink in. Let them relate, imagine, desire and own the outcome. Then, they’re ready to buy.
  4. Offer an incentive. A homepage without an incentive is a waste of your online real estate. You are letting your hot leads slip away in a snap instead of catalyzing the opportunity to bring them closer to your brand.
  5. Show them what it’s like to work with you. Let them taste your work. At first, give immense value. And then give some more. This goes without saying.

    Include conversion metrics in your testimonials, include real stats from real people and bring the number game on. This makes your prospects trust you more. It’s like feeling safe to get treated by the same doctor who treated your uncle earlier rather than landing up in a certain Dr. Strange’s office. It’s pure human psychology at work.

Optimizing your homepage is easy. You just have to make sure you’re checking the above list.

Need help writing web copy? Contact now.

Copywriting 101: How to write with clarity and establish authority

A piece of content has 3 responsibilities:

  1. Inform and educate an audience
  2. Do that in an easy to understand manner without distracting or boring the reader
  3. Keep the reader reading until the end

Also, your writing shouldn’t jeopardise the quality of the subject by:

  1. Insulting a reader’s intellect and analytical capacities
  2. Underestimating a reader’s breadth of knowledge
  3. Assuming that the reader knows what you’re talking about

Writing with clarity is all about designing your idea to be simple, comprehensible, and memorable.

Today, you’ll learn:

  • The exact process to attain clarity before you start writing
  • Exercises to strengthen your message
  • How to play with adverbs to make your writing more powerful

What’s the one thing you need to write with clarity

Your ability to break an idea into simpler sub-ideas to help the reader absorb information easily – is writing with clarity. It’s having to anatomize your thought.

To write clearly, your mind should watch your thoughts slow down, sit and settle. It’s like snorkeling. Too many suspended particles affect your visibility. So you wait for the water to settle down. Likewise, to write with clarity, you should wait, think and understand clearly.

Understanding an idea happens in 3 stages:

  1. Acknowledgment – Introspecting your idea and taking the liberty to understand what happens when you agree/disagree with it.
  2. Organization – Logical structuring of your ideas with the help of a clear goal and outline to steer your writing.
  3. Mapping – Drawing relevance. This is where all the connection happens. The place where you say – “Makes sense!”
    Example: Connecting the subheadings to the main idea so that you don’t deviate from the subject and stay focused.

Without the above steps, it becomes impossible to bring your ideas to life.

If you follow the above process, you can bring clarity to your writing — one sentence at a time.

6 Tips strengthen your message

  • Use power words that evoke a feeling, emotion or stimulate a response
  • Kill your favorite sentence mercilessly if you think it confuses your reader
  • Eliminate filler words
  • Carry out several rounds of edits to make sure your writing is clear, has a flow, and gets to the point quickly
  • Replace big words with simple, smaller, and unambiguous words.
  • Replace adverbs with stronger, better verbs.

How to use adverbs smartly

If you are using an adverb, you have got the verb wrong. – Kingsley Amis

Adverbs weaken your writing by sucking the energy out of a phrase. Adverbs make your writing bleak and powerless which can bore your reader.

But how do you avoid using adverbs? By replacing (adverb + verb) with a better verb.

Example:

  1. She sighed irritatingly in pain and despair.
  2. She groaned in pain and despair.

What sounds better to you?

In the second example, the better verb has a stronger effect because that word was created with just one purpose – evoke the emotion it evokes. Also, it just sounds good. And writing well is also about sounding good.

But there are times when adverbs are a must to set the context. Sometimes, you’ve got to describe your verb more accurately to narrate the situation. And these are the only times you should pledge to use adverbs to make your writing stronger – to read your emotion.

Example:

The company urged the employees to avoid misusing the resources.

This sentence implies that the employees are/were/could be irresponsible in using the resources and hence the company issued a notice.

The company urged the employees to use the resources sparingly.

The above sentence sets the context. Why did they mention sparingly? Is the company running losses? Are they running out of resources? Is replenishing their resources becoming a big problem? The readers put on their thinking caps instantly and that’s exactly what you want as a writer.

You see – one adverb could imply so much more meaning when used smartly. So, choose your adverbs wisely.

Conclusion

When your message is clear, you naturally attract followers who’re eager to hear and learn from you. They listen to you and you matter to them. This is how you build authority with clear messaging.

Questions on clear messaging? Let’s figure it out in the comments!

How To Attract Ready-to-Invest Leads With Empathetic Copywriting

How to attract ready-to-invest leads with empathetic copywriting

3 years ago, I met up with an app developer at a local startup meet. He had a painful story of losing $25000 building an app whose ROI was less than one dollar.

He tried to understand why his product failed when:

  • the end-users loved the demo
  • they loved using the app
  • they appreciated the UX and UI too
  • the target audience appreciated the idea
  • they thought it was useful as well

Yet, the product failed.

Devastated, he narrated the story to the crowd, seeking for answers in their eyes.

A sassy marketing expert came forward and asked, -“Did you refer to your market research material while you designed it’s features?”.

After a few seconds of embarrassing silence, the app developer asked – “What is market research?”!

So, this passionate startup owner went straight into building the app ASSUMING all of the features himself and he ran into a debt of $25000 that he had invested out of his pocket.

Lesson? It was an app loved by many, but utterly un-needed.

Learning about the user journey helps you shape your product AND your marketing. You sell well when you know what you’re building, for whom and why you’re building it.

You see? The first step to a successful product launch is to create a product your audience NEEDS and then market around those needs to attract qualified leads.

How to Qualify Leads and Convert Better

To connect with your readers on an emotional level, you should know them inside out.

How do you do that?

By asking questions like:

  1. What makes your prospects happy?
  2. What makes them cringe?
  3. What keeps them worried?
  4. What gets them excited?
  5. What are their priorities?
  6. What are their apprehensions and expectations?
  7. What outcomes do they dream about all the time?
  8. What makes them feel threatened?
  9. What are their biggest challenges right now?
  10. What makes them nervous?

Understanding the underlying problems and creating a solution around these problems gives you a solid product that people actually need unlike the one this passionate startup owner had created.

With a solid product, built on people’s real demands, you can set-base to market.

You now have full permission to go tout about how YOU know to fill that aching gap your audience couldn’t

You don’t qualify leads, you qualify your marketing content. Quality leads begin to flow when they can empathize with content that brings clarity.

Tip: Read more about writing with clarity and establishing authority.

Brain Chemistry and Empathetic Copywriting

Your readers dig details.

  • If it’s a physical product, they want to know exactly what it’s made of.
  • If it’s a service, they want to know what they get.
  • If it’s a solution, they want to know how it works.

Once they know the details, they’re ten times more likely to buy from you.

Now, why does this work?

The ever-curious human mind stops releasing the stress hormone, cortisol, the moment it understands that you are in a familiar environment.

By giving out the exact details of working with you, you’re creating a safe, future environment for the reader by telling the reader’s brain that:

  • You’re in a safe, familiar environment
  • You’re with someone who knows how you feel and empathizes with you
  • You can stop being in the fight-or-flight mode

Marketing is about understanding your audience, empathizing with them and inviting them to know more about your offer – nothing more, nothing less.

You’re here to talk about how you can free your audience from that big fat suffering that’s been hindering their growth and transformation.

How to keep your audience thinking about what you said

The reason you remember the story from the movie you watched when you were 10 but not the history lesson is because you mirrored and experienced the emotions played in the movie.

How you can use this technique to win your audience over:

  1. Pinpoint your audience’s exact pain points and address that in your copy
  2. Identify with their fears and anxieties and acknowledge that in your copy
  3. Promise the desired outcome (and deliver it in your product please)

What not to do in your copy

Okay, if you don’t keep the conversation going between you and your reader, the connection dies.

So, make your reader feel heard, understood and important.

This is how you roll:

  1. It is when you DON’T make them feel zoned out – they start relating to you.
  2. It is when you DON’T make them feel like a faceless speck from the masses – they start valuing you.
  3. It is when you make them feel understood – the chemistry of liking strikes.

So it all boils down to understanding your reader. Inside out.

When you synthesize your audience’s thoughts that they find difficult to express, you win their trust.

When your audience feel understood, they take the first step toward trusting you and believing in what you have to say. This tells them that you know where they’re coming from – a point of stress and struggle – a point that YOU have surpassed – a point in place they want to be

How to develop a memorable voice and brand personality through copywriting

Now that you know what to say, let’s focus on how you say it.

Your voice is nothing but your thought process – how you identify what to say and when.

Your tone is the language and mood and feelings you use to convey the message.

I’ve always loved Mailchimp copy. And you know what makes readers love Mailchimp? The tone. It’s easy, flowy and minimalistic. Notice the adjectives I used to describe the tone? That’s how you develop a personality around your brand.

Look at this example here.

How to build a friendly voice and write with empathy

The above form makes it want to sign up and see how easy it can actually be to get started with a Mailchimp account. You too, right?

That’s the magic of having a distinct voice and tone. People actually listen to you speak.

You too can develop a tone. Let’s run through these examples quickly to find out how.

1. People are addicted to cell phones.

2. Smart screen toxicity is harming youngsters.

What sounds more vivid and powerful to you? 1 or 2?

The first statement is normal that uses everyday words.

But the second one? It’s exactly pointing out who it’s harming the most – the youngsters. What is harming? – Smart Screen Toxicity. It’s done in an unconventional manner – yet without using any jargons that a layman wouldn’t understand. That’s how you develop a voice.

How not to sound in your copy

Let’s get straight to the point.

  • Don’t sound like you and your competitor are cut from the same cloth
  • Be different but never be inappropriate
  • Think aloud, but don’t harm
  • Don’t force/coax/pressurize/confuse your readers
  • Don’t limit user personas to a set of demographic data but also care about your audience’s tastes, traits, and behavior in as much.
  • Don’t talk. Make a statement.

Okay, these are the 6 big tips to follow every time you start with a copywriting project.

To practice, today you go back and pick a page of copy.

Rewrite the page by applying the tips and techniques you read just now and tell me how you feel about it at the end of the exercise 🙂

How to identify your brand message and nail it like a boss

 

By the end of this blog, you’ll have learned:
1. How to write your USP
2. What is your unique angle
3. How to write your mission statement
4. How to write your vision statement
5. How to stand out from your competition

Your prime offer isn’t selling because you’re not communicating your brilliance.

How do you describe what you do in one powerful sentence?

It so happens sometimes – you either narrate a boringly lengthy story or you go blank, right?

Don’t worry. It has happened to the best of us.

This happens when you haven’t delved enough to understand your brand. 

Hang on and you’ll learn how to dissect your brand and come up with the core branding statements that help you rise above the noise and command premium prices.

How to write your USP

The purpose of your messaging strategy is to help you be differentiable so that your prospects pick you over your competition.

Many business owners find it difficult to come up with a compelling USP. This happens because they’re busy joining the race. They want to do what their competitors are doing instead of identifying their unique angle.

What is your unique angle?

You can identify your unique angle when you accept your strengths and weaknesses wholeheartedly and build from there.

What it means is, elevate your strengths and complement your weaknesses to build a powerful brand.

For example, if you’re good at strategizing growth but have no idea how to create content, you should focus on strategizing growth and let someone else take care of content. 

The goal is to become extremely and especially good at the ONE thing you love to do. That is your unique angle.

Now take your unique angle and create your USP.

The purpose of your USP is to build a reputation for your brand or reinforce your preexisting brand reputation.

The formula to writing your USP

Your USP describes the purpose, goals, and benefits of working with your company.

Your USP = Who you are + What you do + For whom + Why it is beneficial + How you do it

Let me dissect my own USP. 

I’m a copywriter and brand strategist for thriving businesses looking to amplify their influence by expressing their innovativeness.

Who you are + What you do = I’m a copywriter and brand strategist

For whom = For thriving businesses

Benefits = Amplify your influence

How you do it = By expressing your innovativeness

Your turn. Write down your USP with the above formula.

Done?

Let’s move on to writing your mission statement.

How to write your mission statement

Your mission statement describes how you put your USP into action. How you differentiate your work from the others. What is the core function that makes your business what it is, what is it that you actually do? Describe this in one sentence.

Let’s take Content Primer’s mission statement as an example.

Our mission is to help businesses/organizations communicate their ideas + express their innovativeness without the stress and struggle.  

Don’t overthink this one. Because your mission is the very reason you started your business. It’s your primary purpose. Write it down.

How to write your vision statement

How to write your vision statement

How is your vision statement different from your mission statement?

Your mission is – what you do.

Your vision is – why you do what you do.

Your vision statement talks about your aspirations whereas your mission statement specifies what you do in the present and how you do it.

Your vision statement tells the reader WHERE you want to be, what inspired the founding of your company, and what’s the idea that sparked the realization and growth of your brand. Write it one sentence.

For example: 

Content Primer’s vision is to connect like-minded entrepreneurs who bring about their developmental ideas together to improvise world affairs.

Your turn. Write down your vision statement keeping your company’s place in the future in mind.

How to beat your competition – Carve your identity 

When you compete based on the value you are providing to your client/customer, price becomes irrelevant. At this point, you may not believe it because money is everything, right?

Not really.

I’ll tell you how and why you with a well-known example.

You subscribe for Amazon Kindle membership even though you barely read a book.

It’s all about the offer being presented.

How to stand out from your competition

Tell me this.

What is more valuable? 

  1. You get to read unlimited books for $10/month
  2. Buy a book for $5 each

What is more valuable? Obviously the first option right? If you’re a bookworm who gulps in 2 books per week, the first offer is a steal deal. Even if you want to read just three books per month, the offer is a no-brainer and your natural instinct is to go subscribe. 

Got my point?

Now, did you see how price became irrelevant? You chose the more valuable offer even though the unlimited subscription model is priced at thrice the average price. This is when price becomes just a number.

Increase the value of your package to create a juicy offer that sells itself. 

Creating irresistible offers that bundle up relevant products/services is a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition.

What’s one thing you bought because the offer was too good to be ignored? tell me in the comments. even better if you can share the link for the offer. If you need further help crafting the core statements that define your company’s identity, we’re happy to help you.

Follow Content Primer on Facebook to stay updated about brand messaging and attracting your ideal clients.

 

 

The Guide: Social Media for Business

The path to social media excellence is not a gaily prance. The data consumed is enormous. Riding on the success of other’s social media strategies is not a good option to implement in your business. Here is a generalized, yet customizable infographic guide to help you design your own social media strategy.

social media